What is it?
A cult motorcycle reborn. Granted, it’s no longer owned by the original Czech Republic-based company, but its new owner (Mahindra-owned Classic Legends) has done its best to retain the iconic vibe of the original motorcycle.
Design & Build
- Simply called as the ‘Jawa’, it looks strikingly identical to the legacy models of yesteryear and it has been done on purpose to give it a proper retro-modern feel that many enthusiasts crave for. Those twin exhausts give the bike a lot of presence.
- We particularly love the maroon colour, which gives it that ‘straight outta 50’s’ vibe. But there’s also a black colour option if maroon is not your thing. Irrespective of the colour chosen, there’s a healthy dose of chrome throughout the motorcycle.
- Build quality is fine and the motorcycle feels well put together as a whole. It’s certainly better than the Royal Enfield Classic and you’d be happy with its construction for the most part.
- The Jawa’s relatively low 170 kg kerb weight is a big boon and it makes the bike accessible to a wide range of audiences. For comparison, the RE Classic 350 is over 20 kilos heavier than this one.
- You sit quite upright on the Jawa and its footpegs are fairly forward set, so longer rides should not be a problem on this bike.
- However, I also briefly rode the Jawa FortyTwo which comes with a flatter handlebar. Personally, I found the FortyTwo’s riding position to be more comfortable than the Jawa’s, but that’s just me, and I recommend you test ride both these bikes to see which one suits you better.
Engine, Exhaust Note and Gearbox
- Let those fins on the engine not fool you into thinking that this is some low-tech unit from the past. Those fins are more for vintage aesthetics than anything else, and the Jawa comes with a properly modern liquid-cooled engine!
- It’s a 293 cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder unit that pumps out 27 bhp of max power and 28 Nm of peak torque. A 6-speed gearbox comes standard.
- In fact, this engine is derived from the Mahindra Mojo, but extensive modifications have been made for the characteristics of this motor to better suit a modern-classic bike.
- You start to appreciate the refinement level of this engine the moment you crank it up. Vibrations at idle and during relaxed riding are negligible which makes the Jawa quite a smooth motorcycle.
- The only time you’d start feeling vibrations is when you rev it up hard, but let me remind you that its a modern-classic and not a sport/ street fighter, so it’s not engineered to be ridden at high RPMs anyway.
- The Jawa easily do 100-110 km/h on the highway without running out of breath. The 6th gear is a real boon while cruising. The top speed is projected to be somewhere around 140 km/h.
- The motorcycle’s clutch is reasonably light, and the gear shifts are smooth, which means that city riding is an easy affair.
- Because the older Jawas had two-stroke engines, it’s impossible for the new model to mimic that sound of the former. Still, the note of the dual exhaust setup is pretty deep and bassy. It’s not exactly a rumble but is pretty distinctive nonetheless.
You can listen to the Jawa’s exhaust note in our video review at the end of this article…
Ride & Handling
- It’s a known fact that Royal Enfields generally focus on cushiony ride quality at the expense of handling, but the Jawa is engineered to more balanced.
- Therefore, the ride quality here is pretty decent over most terrains. The bike can certainly benefit from better seat padding, though.
- The handling of the Jawa is quiet confidence inspiring for a modern-classic bike. Considering its low kerb weight, taking on highway bends at high speeds is quite easy as well.
- Braking performance of the Jawa is quite good with its 280 mm front disc. However, you must note that the bike rode the was single-channel ABS variant. The Jawa is now also available with dual-channel ABS for roughly Rs 9,000 extra.
- It’s a no brainer that stretching your budget for the dual-channel ABS variant is totally worth it. Not only will it provide better braking power thanks to its rear disc brake, but it will also prevent the rear wheel from locking under heavy braking.
- With a starting price of Rs 1.64 lakh (ex-showroom), the Jawa makes for a compelling option for those looking for a simple motorcycle which combines retro vibe with modern tech. And if you happen to be a fan of Jawa’s legacy, then it’s likely that you have already started saving for one!
- Be prepared to wait for around 6 months if you book a Jawa today! Now that’s quite a long waiting period, but this is something you more or less expect from a new business which is still establishing itself in the country.
Editor’s Note: This review unit of the Jawa was given to us by Shreeji Automobiles, which is Jawa’s exclusive dealership in the city of Amritsar. Dynamic District thanks Shreeji Automobiles for their support.
Watch our video review of the Jawa below: